June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Time running short for U.S. military veteran bonuses

MEDINA — Veterans of the Persian Gulf War have only until the end of this year to apply for a tax-free bonus from the state totaling between $150 and $5,700.

If veterans miss the Dec. 31, 2013, deadline to apply, they will no longer be eligible, said Ed Zackery, director of Medina County Veterans Service Office.

The only requirements are that the veteran was an Ohio resident when he or she entered the service, is currently an Ohio resident and he or she served at least 90 days on active duty between Aug. 2, 1990, and March 3, 1991.

It doesn’t matter whether the applicant was in a combat zone.

“If you’re a veteran of that era, take the time to apply,” Zackery said. “It’s a very simple process.”

Veterans of the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars are the only ones who are eligible at this time. The deadlines for World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War have passed.

Zackery said 774 Persian Gulf veterans in Medina County already have received their bonuses through July, which was the last time the state supplied the department with county figures. They received a total of $625,000.

That makes an average of about $800 per veteran.

If veterans were deployed during wartime to a combat zone, they will receive $100 per month, maxing out at $1,000. For non-combat zones, they will receive $50 per month, capping at $500.

These two bonuses stack, so a veteran could receive $1,500 for 10 months each in combat and non-combat zones.

Since the eligible period for the Persian Gulf War was seven months, these bonuses cap at $700 or $350 for seven months in a combat or non-combat zone, respectively.

Additionally, any veteran who was medically discharged due to combat injuries could receive an additional $1,000, and family members of a veteran killed in action or who died from foreign disease could receive another $5,000.

“We ask that our veterans of other eras and our families let everyone they know who served in the Persian Gulf era to get busy and apply before it’s too late,” Zackery said.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Upcoming eligible dates
– Persian Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, to March 3, 1991. Application deadline is Dec. 31, 2013.
– Afghanistan War: Oct. 7, 2001, to a date to be determined by President Barack Obama. Application deadline also to be determined.
– Iraq War: March 19, 2003, through Dec. 21, 2011. Application deadline is Dec. 31, 2014.

Past deadlines
– World War II: July 1, 1950
– Korean War: July 1, 1959
– Vietnam War: July 1, 1978

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.